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Friday, November 22, 2013

Seeing is believing

Although I received the news from my oncologist last week, I've hesitated to formally write about it until I had the scans and complete report in my hot little hands. I need visual confirmation for most things...my ability to have faith is still a work in progress.

The news was good. It has been almost one year since I finished radiation treatment and it was expected that my tumor would start to show some improvement around this time. Fortunately, back in May at the 6 month post-radiation mark, my tumor already showed signs of shrinkage. And it is still continuing to shrink!

Here is the report:
MRI with and without intravenous contrast, 11/14/13. There has been further decrease in the size of the heterogeneously enhancing multiobulated infiltrating soft tissue lesion involving the left obturator internus muscle and adjoining pelvic soft tissues. The lesion currently measures about 11.5cm x 7.3cm x 11.2cm, having decreased from 12.8cm x 8.0cm x 11.5cm in size on 5/21/13. The mass effect upon the bladder, vagina, and the uterus has also decreased over the interval. The left perineal fat is preserved. No suspicious osseous lesion is identified. No pathologically enlarged lymphadenopathy by size criteria is present.

Here is the best slide that I could find. The arrow is pointing to the tumor that had started to extend to my gluteus muscle a year ago last summer.
And here is the scan from May 2013. It is quite obvious how small the tumor has gotten. The measurement on this slide indicated the main portion of the tumor and it is quite a bit larger than the mass show above.
I don't think I fully realized the impact of waiting for the one year anniversary was having on me until it was over. My body was positively vibrating with stress for the past several weeks in anticipation of what the MRI would show. When Dr. Zagars walked in smiling and practically gleeful, I could feel the stress starting to lift. He said he loves this part of the job as it isn't always the case that he gets to deliver such good news. With that I was released until next May...he still wants to monitor me every 6 months just to be sure it is still headed in the right direction.

Whew. I feel SO MUCH BETTER.

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

Oh Lisa, that is really good news! I am so glad it is continuing to shrink. At some point I am going to read about how GIST's and Desmoid tumors are related, apparently there is some connection. I think it has something to do with type of tissue. It sounds like you are in fantastic hands at MD Anderson and that they will continue to monitor you closely. Have a good weekend!

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